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Madison mayor says no plans to remove campers from Occupy site

Published On: Oct 30 2012 05:53:16 PM CDT   Updated On: Nov 07 2012 03:46:36 PM CST

As temperatures continue to drop, the future of a homeless day shelter in Dane County is still up in the air.

Meanwhile, a group of homeless people have set up camp at the old Occupy Madison site in the 800 block of East Washington Avenue, and Mayor Paul Soglin said there are no plans to move them.

"Some county people and some city staff are going to go meet with the people who are in the camp, find out what their housing needs are and find out exactly where we stand in terms of housing demand for those particular people," Soglin said.

Soglin said development on that end of the lot isn't slated to start until spring.

Advocates said the homeless people are back at the old site because they have nowhere else to go. The county campsites where they had been staying all summer are now closed.

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi said the city and county continue to collaborate on the topic of the day shelter. The two options still on the table are the former military building on Wright Street and a building in the 800 block of East Washington Avenue.

Parisi said county supervisors are out talking to neighbors about the options.

"Locating a facility like this is complicated," Parisi said. "There are a number of concerns to be addressed, and it's very important that the community has input and they're part of the discussion in the ultimate solution."

Parisi said there is no definite cost or deadline for the day shelter. He originally looked to open the facility Nov. 1.

In April, the group was forced off the old Don Miller lot after a Dane County judge ordered them to leave the city-owned lot. 

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